On September 7, 2018, the NJDEP held its quarterly Industrial Stakeholders Group (ISG) meeting. The meeting covered a range of pertinent issues. Two key items that were discussed at this meeting were:

  • Updates to the Risk Screening Worksheet, and
  • Startup/Shutdown/Malfunction (SSM) Permitting Guidance.

Risk Screening Worksheet

Does your facility have the potential to emit hazardous air pollutants (HAP) and other toxic air pollutants? A significant update to the Risk Screening Worksheet is due to be released in November 2018. The update will incorporate updated dispersion modeling factors based on AERMOD v15181 run with recent land use and meteorological data. The use of this new worksheet will likely result in an increase of the number of projects that produce predicted non-negligible risk. This would trigger the requirement for a facility to perform a second-level refined risk screening dispersion modeling analysis.

Timing of the release of this worksheet is contingent on the publication of the updated NJDEP Technical Manuals TM1002 (Guidance on Preparing an Air Quality Modeling Protocol) and TM1003 (Guidance on Preparing a Risk Assessment for Air Contaminant Emissions) due out in Fall 2018. The Department has indicated that the revised risk worksheet will be posted on the website shortly thereafter.

Risk Screening applies to all facilities that have sources with emissions of HAP and other toxic air pollutants above the reportable thresholds. As noted in prior Trinity Regulatory Updates, a majority of the HAP reporting thresholds have been significantly reduced by the DEP since the beginning of 2008. The new thresholds combined with the new risk worksheet may yield a substantial increase in the number of air permitting projects and modifications requiring dispersion modeling.

Startup/Shutdown/Malfunction Guidance

The NJDEP has released a new Startup/Shutdown/Malfunction (SSM) guidance document (largely related to power project [with control]). Some of the key points in this document include:

  • Startup/Shutdown - When submitting a permit application, facilities must include all startup and shutdown operations as separate operating scenarios. These operation must comply with all State and Federal regulations (including State RACT rules).
  • Malfunction - All malfunction events should be handled through the submittal of an affirmative defense per [N.J.A.C. 7:27-22.3(m) and N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.3(n)]. These events should not be included in permit applications (as unique operating scenarios).
  • Commissioning of New Equipment or Control Devices - All commissioning operations need to be included in the permit application as a separate operating scenarios. Emissions must be consistent with RACT as well as all State and Federal regulations.
  • The DEP did indicate that the USEPA is beginning to consider "work practice standards" (rather than emission limits) for SSM related events/scenarios.
  • Renewal applications for older power plants will likely see incorporation of Startup and Shutdown operating scenarios into their permits/compliance plans.

Additional ISG Items Worth Noting:

  • A new Manufacturing and Material Handling General Operating Permit (GOP-002A) is coming soon for Title V Facilities. This permit could dramatically decrease the permitting time necessary for those (non-HAP emitting) processes/sources that require permitting (typically due to New Jersey's 50 lb/hr rule) and that have emissions below reporting thresholds (either before or after control AND from multiple stacks serving the same source).
  • NJDEP anticipates getting a Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) "re-entry" rule proposal out for public comment by the end of 2018. Rule adoption is anticipated by the summer of 2019, with first actions under the rule to be March 2020. New Jersey had previously withdrawn from RGGI in 2012.
  • Stack Test Extensions (at Title V Facilities): The NJDEP Regional Enforcement Offices will consider extension requests (for approval) that are consistent with the reasons outlined in NJAC 7:27-22.18(k)(3) (e.g., the delay is due to Department review of a protocol or the equipment hasn't been installed). Extension requests that are inconsistent with NJAC 7:27-22.18(k)(3) must be requested through a significant permit modification submittal. See the Departments September 24, 2018 memo.

Trinity can help you review these topics as they apply to your facility operations and planned updates. If you have any questions regarding this or any other air permitting/compliance topic, please feel free to reach us at (609) 318-5500 or via email.